RADIO 786 – a Proudly African Voice

With its guiding motto, to inform, educate and uplift, Radio 786 took to the airwaves on 22 September 1995.

Two decades later, it celebrates an extensive list of achievements, triumphs and memories.

Launched to coincide with the martyrdom anniversary of an anti-Apartheid icon, Imam Abdullah Haron, who hailed from the community which Radio 786 serves, the station’s programming and ethos has consistently reflected a consciousness about the oppressed.

Despite being a community broadcaster based in the previously disadvantaged Cape Flats, the station has demonstrated the resounding impact of community radio. By highlighting issues affecting the most overlooked, it has managed through this medium to pressure the council to deliver and government to acknowledge the rights of the downtrodden.

In 2014 it once again celebrated, when it won a 16-year long battle championing the rights of free speech. Based on a complaint, the case had progressed to the top courts of the land, in which Radio 786 managed to successfully argue for the alteration of provisions of the Broadcasting Act of South Africa which curtailed free expression.

With an audience in excess of 150 000, Radio 786 is the most listened-to talk station in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

Its programming includes local and international news and current affairs, social issues, family advice, community development and empowerment, sports and recreation. The station is known for tackling controversial, pertinent subjects head on.

According to South African broadcasting regulations, the station’s licence is applied-for by the non-profit organisation, Islamic Unity Convention (IUC).


Awards and Achievements

Bringing together a staff contingent from disadvantaged backgrounds, Radio 786 is a training ground for media expertise; thus a proud indigenous voice which reflects the community’s perspective.

This talent has been honed to the extent of international recognition. Among its lengthy list of awards:

-          Vodacom Journalist of the Year

-          BBC Africa Young Broadcaster of the Year

-          2nd Prize IRIB International Radio Festival – Documentary production

-          Western Province Sports Electronic Media Award for Chess & Developmental Sports

-          Western Province Sports Journalist of the Year

-          SAFA Media Journalist of the Year

-          Awarded Certificate of Excellence by the Western Cape Social Services

-          Honorary mention in the Minister of Communications Budget Speech for Radio 786’s contribution towards language

It is therefore no surprise that Radio 786 is known for breaking boundaries and setting standards!


As it celebrates its 18th anniversary, Radio 786 marks yet another milestone; the commencement of daily broadcasts!

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Radio 786’s approach remains unique. It serves both the educational, informational and cultural needs of the community. It has positioned itself as an alternative station, always striving to consider and approach issues in a fresh and interesting way, while also entertaining the diverse views and opinions of the community it serves.

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What remains to be such a significant (and dare I say unmatched in this province) contribution Radio 786 makes to community development, is at the level of enhancing critical understanding, debate, politics, economics and education.”  ‘At the level of community development, there can be no doubt about the incredible intellectual, spiritual and emotional impact this radio station made on the hearts and minds of people, in particular Muslims in the Western Cape.  
Prof. Yusef Waghid PhD (Dean: Education Department, Stellenbosch University)

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